Top 10 Ways to Make a GREEN Difference

  • Give Your Car a Break. Carpool, use mass transit, walk or bike whenever possible. Leaving your car at home just 2 days a week will save 1,590 lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Keep your car well-maintained to maximize its fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability.
  • Light Up Your Life. Replacing your five most frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can save more than $65 a year in energy costs. They provide high-quality light output, use less energy and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs. Remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room.
  • Use a Low Flow Shower Head. A 10-minute shower can use less water than a full bath. A new showerhead also will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity.
  • Stop Your Leaky Faucet. A leaky faucet can waste gallons of water. Hot water leaking at a rate of one drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water over the course of a year, and waste up to $35 in electricity or $35 in natural gas. Fixing drips is a cost effective and easy way to save energy.
  • Use the Proper Pot. A 6-inch pot on an 8-inch burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner’s heat. Using the right sized pot on stove burners can save about $36 annually for an electric range, or $18 for gas. Covering pots and pans also helps you cook more efficiently and keeps your kitchen cooler.
  • Safely Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste. Many common chemicals you may have in your house can pose hazards to people, pets and the environment if they are not disposed of properly.
  • Turn Down the Temperature. Set your water heater thermostat to 120 F or lower. Savings resulting from turning down your water heater temperature are based on two components: reduced standby losses (heat lost from water heater into surrounding basement area); and consumption (from water demand or use in your home). Set too high, or at 140 degrees F, your water heater can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses. Set at 120 degrees F, you will save energy and money.
  • Reduce, Reuse , Recycle. Reduce the amount of garbage you generate by looking for products that have less packaging. Buy recycled products. Reuse goods, you don’t need by donating them.
  • Paper or Plastic? Neither. Take your own reusable bags to the grocery store and avoid having to choose between the lesser of these two evils.
  • Plant a Tree. Trees absorb carbon dioxide — as much as a ton over the lifetime of the tree. Trees also provide shade, which can reduce heating bills.

SOURCE: Green Works Orlando

 

Beware of Plastics

Plastic is everywhere: food, packaging, clothing, toys, kitchen, etc. It is hard to believe that something we love and have simplified our lives so much turned out to be so damaging to the environment and potentially harmful to our health.

As time goes by, more and more scientists and research organizations say that plastic should not be assumed to be safe. In fact, toxins from plastic bottles and containers can leach into food and drinks, posing a serious health risk. And even more seriously when used to heat food in the microwave.

The worst concern is bisphenol-A or BPA, which has been linked to cancer, infertility, obesity and even early puberty in animal studies. It is alarming to learn that a CDC study found this chemical in 93% of people tested. BPA has also been found inside metal food and soda cans.

Play it safe and do not heat anything with plastic in the microwave — use glass or microwave safe ceramics. If you must use plastic anywhere else, stay with the “safer” plastics, which are numbered #1, 2, 4 and 5, and avoid #3, 6 and 7.

UpGreen!

Drinking Water: Filtered Tap or Bottled?

Which one is better?

It is a fact that plastic bottle’s impact has been very detrimental on the environment. The making of the plastic bottle in the US uses over 1.5 million barrels of oil, enough to run 100,000 cars for a year. About 80% of the bottles are not recycled, causing about 38 billion of them to continue to clog landfills every year, where they take over 700 years to even begin to decompose.

On the other hand, many parts of the US provide quality tap water. In fact, bottle companies like Pepsi’s Aquafina and Coke’s Dasani use filtered municipal water. And for children, tap water is even beneficial — it contains fluoride.

So, if plastic is a petroleum based product and a source of phthalates, a very harmful chemical, and filtered tap water is a safe option that not only is beneficial but also can be less contaminated than bottled and cheaper, why is bottled water so popular? Many people are yet to consider all the benefits about filtered tap water and the negative impact of the bottled water. Furthermore, bottled water has been a convenience for the “on the go” lifestyle.

Spread the news and lead by example. Install a filtered system at home (many are quite inexpensive) and use an aluminum carrying bottle. Kick the water bottle habit, protect the environment, save money and live healthier… UpGreen!

For more information about your local tap water, go to: http://epa.gov/safewater/

Why Organic Clothing?

For starters, you might not know that cotton is the most intensive pesticide-use crop in the world. Also, clothes made from synthetic fibers like acrylic, nylon and polyester is coated with formaldehyde, which is a very harmful chemical. Considering that our skin absorbs quickly and easily these vapors and substances, it is imperative to take a good look at why organic clothing is becoming more popular.

Furthermore, children’s fire-resistant night clothing are made with polybrominated diphenyl ether, which has been linked to brain and thyroid development problems.

Organic clothing is becoming more competitive as well as fashionable. Even Hollywood celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon. There are many websites providing a variety of women, men and children apparel. Here are just a few: underthecanopy.com, patagonia.com, prana.com, cottonfieldusa.com, and many others.

Go ahead… UpGreen!

Green Building… Is it for you?

If you want to reside on healthier surroundings, breath cleaner air, save money and help the environment, then… YES, green building IS for you!

What is Green Building?

“Green Building’ or ‘Sustainable’ design and construction means creating healthier and more energy-efficient homes and buildings in a manner that allows us to use our resources more efficiently. The goal is to leave a lighter footprint on the environment through the conservation of our natural resources, while balancing energy-efficient, cost-effective, low-maintenance products on the construction.

There are many elements that make up or qualify a home or building to be certified ‘green’ or ‘sustainable.’ Not only it includes the systems that circulate the air, what’s behind the walls, the attic, windows, counters, appliances, lighting, sealing the house and so on, but it also includes using renewable and recyclable materials, adding durability, creating less waste during construction, and so many other things.

A green building may cost more up front, but saves through lower operating costs over the life of the building.

Wikipedia provides an easy to understand summary of Green Building. To read it click here or feel free to email us your questions.